How Not to Become a Chain Social-Media Addict

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Are you ever at a party, or with some friends and start twitching to check your phone? Do you ever tweet or post a Facebook update just to experience the high of the response? If so, is technology the new smoking? Lots of scary parallels here. Many join social media sites initially to keep up and fit in. After the thrill of a few responses the lure the re-tweet, logging into Facebook to see that you have several new “notifications,” that mini high can become pretty addictive.

If this freaks you out, here are some tips on How Not to Become a Chain Social Media Addict:

1. Have internal guidelines for when you will and not check your technologies. For example, if you are talking to a friend, keep your attention 100% for them.

2. Institute self-control and know when to turn technology off entirely when you are trying to get something done. Humans are pretty terrible at multi-tasking. Learn how to stay focused on one thing at a time. Of course, if you’ve been diagnosed with N.A.D.D, that is a larger problem…

3. Take a sabbatical from social media every once in a while so you don’t become entirely dependent on it. Just like smoking every day or drinking coffee every day, tweeting, checking your email, and Facebook will get you addicted if you never learn to live without them. Take time every now and then to immerse yourself in the simpler life – – basic forms of communication like talking to people in person, being by yourself without distractions – – will help you manage the urge so you don’t become a junkie.

Of course social media is simply more, widespread and immediate communication. There is nothing wrong with more communication unless it starts to impede the quality of your face-to-face relationships and physical health. In this case, trying out the steps above is probably prudent.

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Erin Manor

I love your advice. It makes so much sense. We have all become too involved in social media and need to find a better balance in our lives.

Jeff Ribeira

I agree. Great advice and an eerily accurate comparison. Colleges should start offering a technology ethics class as a General Ed requirement. I say that somewhat jokingly, but at the same time, where else are kids going to learn what is and isn’t acceptable behavior when it comes to cellphone/social media use and the real world? They would learn the basics of managing and leveraging the web and today’s hyper-connectivity wisely, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that abound in the world of social media. Or maybe all we need is an AA for all of us tech junkies out there…

Jay Johnson

I know for some people, it’s the first thing they do in the morning and the last thing they do before bed. They call it a “crackberry” for a reason.